“Words and magic were in the beginning one and the same thing, and even today words retain much of their magical power.”
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'Sigmund Freud, Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis'

International Psychoanalytical Association (IPA) Congress, 1911 Weimer

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In Psychoanalysis and Art: From Dreams to Reality, Özden Terbaş focuses on both the clinical aspects of psychoanalysis and the discipline’s interaction with art. The “Clinical Theory” section of the work presents Freud’s theoretical process that evolves from dreams to unconscious fantasy and psychic reality; explores the functions of dreams and unconscious realities; and discusses concepts of transference and countertransference in light of contemporary perspectives. In addition to including an in-depth discussion on mourning and melancholy, this section also introduces the primary arguments of Kleinian theory. The “Art” section highlights the basic motifs that can structure an artwork, and, touching upon the basic approaches for the interpretation of a work of art from a psychoanalytic perspective, dwells on the importance of combining an objective and subjective reading. Two novels, Franz Kafka’s The Trial and Jerzy Kosinski’s The Painted Bird are discussed as examples. This section also includes psychoanalytic interpretations of several films; namely, Dead Ringers by David Cronenberg, La Pianiste (The Piano Teacher) by Michael Haneke, Höstsonaten (Autumn Sonata) by Ingmar Bergman, and Bom yeoreum gaeul gyeoul geurigo bom (Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter... and Spring) by Kim Ki-duk.


“It could be argued that in psychoanalysis interpretation has a dialectic complementary dual function: the first, the function of whittling that aims to reveal the hidden aspects and disguised elements of the patient’s unconsious, and the second, the function of combining and integrating the parts that are divided and separated from one another. While the former can be compared to the sculpting of a statue, the latter function can be likened to adding colors to a painting. Given the fact that different hues of emotions are discovered and processed in psychoanalysis, it could be suggested that it resembles an artwork. The process of analysis, which proceeds with the associations of the analysand, the interpretations of the analyst (or more precisely with the analysand’s own interpretations), is one that is word-based, where words are communicated, molded and transformed. In this respect, the space created by the analysand and the analyst, the session itself is a work of art; psychoanalysis is a poem! As the poet composes his poem, weaving it knot by knot and molding it in his heart, the poem in turn composes the poet; transforms, creates him. The same situation applies to the analyst-analysand relationship. Through the inner journey of the analysand (the one being analyzed), the analyst (the one doing the analyzing) is also faltered, processed, transformed, and almost recreated.”


Özden Terbaş

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